Since 2006, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have developed drought-tolerant maize (DTM) varieties to address a widespread risk of drought in Sub-Saharan Africa. From 2014-2018, MRR Innovation Lab researchers partnered with CIMMYT on a randomized controlled trial (RCT) spanning Mozambique and Tanzania to test the impacts of bundling an innovative type of insurance with DTM to expand drought protection for small-scale farming families.
The intervention leveraged the complementary features of the two technologies, one agronomic and the other financial. The drought tolerance of the DTM seeds lowered the cost of the insurance. The insurance, which provided seed replacements in the event of severe drought, reduced the risk of adopting DTM seeds.